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tv   HAR Dtalk  BBC News  January 29, 2018 4:30am-5:00am GMT

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there is an ongoing attack in kabul at the marshal fahim university. five attackers have been involved, three have been killed. two national army soldiers have been killed. aid groups in yemen say new fighting in the port city of aden has made an already bad humanitarian situation worse. at least ten people were killed on sunday during fighting between former allies — separatists who want independence for south yemen, and forces loyal to the saudi—backed government. police in moscow have released the russian opposition leader, alexei navalny, after detaining him at a rally. his lawyer says he will have to appear in court, where he may face charges. now on bbc news it's time for hardtalk. welcome to hardtalk, with me, zeinab badawi, from the world economic forum, in davos. my guest is the deputy president of south africa, cyril ramaphosa.
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this is his first interview with the bbc since he became president of the ruling anc. he could also become president of south africa very, very soon, if jacob zuma heeds calls to resign early. but is cyril ramaphosa, an anc stalwart and wealthy businessman, the right person to lead a new south africa, a country mired in corruption and cronyism 7 deputy president cyril ramaphosa, welcome to hardtalk. thank you very much. it is good to be here. how worried are you about corruption in south africa? deeply worried, because corruption tends to be a very negative action that is taken by corrupters
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against the nation. it impedes growth, it is something that takes away the resources that are meant to advance the lives of our people, and it puts it in the hands of a few, and it is a criminal act, and that is why i have been determined that we should rid our country of corruption, because it has become all pervasive. the good thing, though, is that we have identified it, and we are now taking action against it. if you were serious about taking action, i put this to you, when you became leader of the anc in december, investor confidence in south africa shot up. it would shoot up even more if you were president, wouldn't it? i guess, yes, there would be such a response, because my campaign message leading up to the december conference when i was elected was pivoted around corruption,
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not because it was so much just to get elected, but it was a national issue that people wanted action to be taken on. an urgent matter? yes. an urgent matter. therefore, i put it to you, why doesn'tjacob zuma go? you want him to go as soon as possible? since i was elected, we are in a transitional period. the transitional period means he has still got 18 months to go and i have been elected as leader of the party. will he serve that 18 months? in this transitional period, we are looking at all options, various options, and the people of south africa are talking. many say he should go, others say, no, he should not go now. what do you think? i think we should manage it so carefully that whatever we do should be in the interests of south africans. it should advance... but we know what that is, though, with due respect,
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mr deputy president. if it is in the interests of south africans, then it would mean that the decade—long rule ofjacob zuma, where we have seen accusations of cronyism, the corruption, the economy going down, it is obvious, it is a no—brainer, he has to go as soon as possible. would you be so kind as to spell that out and say, yes, i agree with you, zeinab? no, no. i agree that what we should do, we should ensure that the growth that would be engendered by this new era coming should happen, and it should happen so that it advances the people of our country, and therefore, my task as president of the anc, together with my other five colleagues who are part of the top six, is to manage this transitional period. we have been mandated by the national executive committee to navigate around this matter. it is a delicate matter. you have said that his exit is to be
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handled with delicacy, and that it must not be dealt in a humiliating fashion, that he should not be sacked in a humiliating way, nor should he perhaps face a protracted impeachment process in parliament. yes. so what is the nature of your negotiations with jacob zuma? what does he want? immunity from prosecution, for example, has he asked for that? well, that has not been spelt out by him, but what we're looking at are all these issues... he has not spelt that out? let's just clarify that. no, no, he hasn't spelt that out. because there are lots of allegations about state capture and his relationship with certain business people in south africa. he has not said, i would like immunity from prosecution? no, president zuma has not said he wants immunity from prosecution, and as it is now, there are quite a number of charges that are being looked at which could be preferred against him, so he has not asked us that. but what we are looking at... can ijust ask, suppose, just to take it down the line, he was to stand trial,
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as you say, there are these allegations, and i am not prejudging anything... yes. but if he were to go on trial and then to be found guilty, and if you were president by then, you could exercise your presidential pardon. would you pardon him? we have the rule of law in our country, and people always want to see justice done, without fear, without favour, without prejudice, so whatever will need to be done, to president zuma, will have to follow the due process of the law, a process that anyone who is a south african will be subjected to, so that we put aside. we deal with the present and what could be the immediate future, and when we engage with president zuma, we are obviously pointing out the various risks and challenges that lie ahead. have you talked to him personally, just the two of you, with nobody around, and spelt things out to him? yes, i have spoken to president zuma
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and we are continuing to be engaged in discussions. and he understands the severity of the situation? i would think that yes, he does. anybody who is president would understand the challenges and the severity of the situation that we are in. there were reports in the press that he had been recalled by the anc‘s executive committee which is made up of well over a hundred members, and then it was retracted. this is what the anc secretary general, ace magashule, said days ago, that the party's national executive had discussed zuma's recall, but he said on the 22nd ofjanuary, there isn't any rumour or decision to remove jacob zuma. there are no timelines. we can't put timelines. i don't think we can be dictated to by anyone on how to deal with the matter. that is true.
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that is true? there are no timelines? well, not really. we are looking at it within the time frame that we have got for him to serve his term out, but obviously, things have to be handled as quickly and as swiftly as possible, so the national executive committee did not take a decision on this matter. what it did decide on is that the top six officials must engage with president zuma and deal with this transitional matter, which is giving rise to a number of challenges. so, and i have been saying to the nation, firstly, we do not want to disrespect him, we do not want to humiliate president zuma, but we will deal with the matter, and we need time. what is that matter? the matter of his departure? of course, of course, because we are in a transitional period. you keep on saying "transitional period", but everybody wants to know how long that transitional period is. i put to you what trevor manuel, formerfinance minister of south africa, has said ofjacob zuma, he has reduced some of south africa's key institutions and state industries to rubble and been openly contemptuous of the courts, and these
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things are piling up. surely, mr deputy president, the longerjacob zuma stays in office, the more people lose confidence in south africa? christine lagarde, the head of the imf, has downgraded the forecast for south africa's economy, growth in the south african economy, citing political uncertainty. yes. you have said to me, i am worried about corruption, i am worried about the state of our economy, and i say to you, one very simple solution would be for you, as head of the anc, to say, jacob zuma, you must go, and you must go now. yes, a new dawn is on the horizon. we are now involved in a new era in south africa, there is a new leadership, and this new leadership isjust barely a month old in its position, and we are dealing with this matter and obviously the key matter that everyone wants to see addressed is the tenure that president zuma still has to serve out. constitutionally speaking, he still has 18 months.
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and within this 18 months, obviously a lot of things can happen, but he and i have agreed that we are going to be meeting regularly, to discuss matters, but it dictates, and by definition, it means that in the course of this, we are also going to discuss the transition. how long is it going to last? how is he feeling? is he under pressure? is he feeling very anxious? he must be, with all this stuff swirling around him. well, obviously, any normal human being would be anxious, would be concerned about all this, so he is naturally feeling anxious, and he wants mattered to be handled in a way... that they will be handled carefully. and i am saying, my key interest is to move the country forward. it is not so much about what happens to an individual, it is what the interests... really?
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even if that individual is the current head of state who has presided over what has been described as state capture, just the interests of the few, of the state's assets? you see, the state capture issue is now being handled. a commission of enquiry has been instituted, has been appointed, and is now going to go into the depths. there has been state capture, you say? of course there has been state capture. everyone agrees that our state was captured by corrupt elements, by people who purported to be close to the president, who have been doing really bad things in getting into all and many state institutions. i wonder, mr deputy president, if your hands are tied as leader of the anc, because let's face it, in the leadership contest, with nkosazana dlamini zuma, former wife of jacob zuma, you only won very narrowly, 179 votes out of the 5,000 cast? yes. you are presiding over a divided party, a divided executive committee,
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where there are lots of supporters ofjacob zuma, and you're thinking, i cannot really move as fast as i'd like, my hands are tied. that is the state of affairs, isn't it? well, it may well look like that, but when we emerged out of that conference, we came out with our commitment underpinned by two things, unity and renewal. unity means that we're going to unite all the different strands within the anc and work together, and everyone committed to that. it is a battle for you, isn't it? admit it, it is a battle for you? well, it is a battle because we come from different sides, different strands, so my task as president of the anc is to pull everyone together, to unite everyone, so that we all move in the same direction, and so far, i think we have done pretty 0k. really? because william gumede, chair of the democracy works foundation in south africa, a highly respected south african, says,
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the corrupt side control the party, and are going to protect zuma at all costs. cyril ramaphosa's challenge will be managing this while getting started on reforms which will be slower, not big bang. i put it to you again, your hands are tied. you are not in control of your party? well, you know, as president of the african national congress, myjob is to unite the party, to unite the party, to execute the resolutions that are taken by the party, and one of those is to fight corruption, and already we have shown our hand. we have already started acting against people who are corrupt, we have had a commission appointed, we have moved into one of our state—owned enterprises which had been captured, and we are rooting out people who are corrupt, and we are going to be ensuring that the criminal justice system officials do arrest people who are corrupt. our intent on that should never be doubted. we are going to take action against those who have acted wrongly against the people of our country.
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that is going to be a full—time job, isn't it? prince mashele, co—author of a book called the fall of the anc, says your party is rotten in its entirety. so it is notjust accusations against jacob zuma and those around him, it is right across the party? well, we allowed corruption to continue growing in the party. we have recognised that this is a problem, we have decided that we are going to root corruption out, and it is not everyone in the anc who is corrupt. there are some really good people in south africa, in the african national congress, and that is what is giving us the platform, and the levers to root out those who are perpetrating wrong things against the people of south africa. ok, but i put this again to you. i know i am giving you all these people who are saying this, that and the other but it is important
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to show that these are very serious people saying this. sure. former south african president kgalema motlanthe said of the anc leadership only in april, over time, they have countenanced zuma's mistakes and actually defended him, and in the process, they are complicit in the wrongdoing. do you feel complicit, because you could have done something sooner? i think many of us in the anc, and as we have admitted publicly, we admit that in the past, we have spoken about there have been perceptions of corruption, now we know that there has been real corruption, and this... what do you mean "now"? when did you find out? i mean, we all knew about it and we do not even live in south africa. no, no, no, of course. but when it really started coming out in facts and figures, putting figures to how much had been stolen, it came out when the e—mails started emerging, and then we realised that this is no longer perception, this is real, and it is when a good number of us then started talking against corruption, so yes,
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we may be complicit in not having spoken out at an earlier time, but once we knew the facts and figures, we have now stood on our two feet and we have been speaking against it, and that is what has buoyed the mood in the country. people are saying, now we know there has been so much corruption, we now know the figures and the amounts and the people, now action is going to be taken, and it is that that we should focus attention on, and say, what does the future portend? the future is about taking action against people who have been harming the interests of our people as a whole. so, we all know that you've got to take certain steps to restore confidence in south africa, build up business. you have been talking to lots of people here. are you the right person to do that, for a country where you have got one in four people unemployed, youth unemployment particularly
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is very, very high, people are struggling, 17 million out of 52 million people are on some kind of state benefits. you know, the cost of living is extremely high, and you are, to put it bluntly, an extremely wealthy businessman. are you really that kind of person who can empathise with the plight of the ordinary south african? throughout my life, even as a trade unionist and a student leader, i have always espoused principles that seek to advance the interests of our people as a whole, and the confidence that has been invested in me by the membership of the african national congress, and by the people of south africa, puts me in a position where i have to act in the interests of advancing the lives of the people of south africa. so, yes, as a collective, working together with others, we are well—positioned. you are well positioned, are you?
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i believe i am well positioned. so there you are, the son of a rural policeman, you know, trained as a lawyer, here you are in your mid—60s, and nelson mandela wanted you to be his successor, it did not happen, and so you went into business, and you are a beneficiary of the black economic empowerment programme and that makes some people feel a bit uncomfortable. i put it to you that moeletsi mbeki, an academic and younger brother of former president thabo mbeki, says, cyril ramaphosa was the person who wrote the black economic empowerment law in south africa. this is the main driver of corruption in this country. cyril ramaphosa wrote the law that created this mayhem of corruption under the cloak of black advancement, making it less credible that he can be the man to tackle cronyism. a long quote, i know, but one that really makes the point. well, that is the view of an analyst, somebody who sits on the sidelines, and many of us are involved in doing the actual work, and have been doing so for many, many years.
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and many of the things that we are involved in are working to advance the lives of ordinary people, and none of the things that i have done in business have been aimed at, have been corrupt activities, they have been purely business engagements, and right now, i am well positioned, as president of the african national congress, to advance the policies of the african national congress, which are aimed at improving the lives of the people of south africa. that, for me, is non—negotiable. it is something that i am going to make sure that it happens. however, you say, yes, there is no corruption around the business activities that you have been involved in, however, as a non—executive director of lonmin, which owned the mine in marikana, which in 2012,
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the miners went on strike, 3a of them were shot dead by police, it did taint your image, didn't it? mm—hm. do you accept that? mm—hm. do you accept that it did taint your image, because you were seen as being on the side of business interests, and there were the striking miners? yes, it did, but what i was seeking to do was to prevent further deaths from taking place. and the commission that was instituted looked at everything that i did. the farlam commission absolutely said you were not at all complicit or responsible, but there have been criticisms, for example, that you did not apologise at the time for the deaths, and in fact, you issued an apology last year, but this is what the lawyer for the arrested and wounded miners, andries nkoma, has said. your apology is contemptuous and opportunistic, because it was issued when you were seeking the leadership of the anc. that is essentially the point.
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well, that is also the view of someone who is sitting on the other side. but it is a valid observation? well, i am working with winnie mandela. winnie mandela, who has been most concerned about the interests of our people, and i am working with her, we are going to go to the widows of the miners who were killed, and we are going to engage with them, and watch this space and see what is going to ensue from there. financial reparations, compensation and that kind of thing? well, government is working on that, because they have instituted a lawsuit against the government for the deaths of their breadwinners, and that is in process. i think a good outcome will come out of all of this. all right. so here you are leading the anc and you say you want to bring south africa back again, but you lost votes in the last elections and we sanulius malema, one of the, you know, bright lights of the anc, leaving and setting up his own party,
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the economic freedom fighters. we have seen the anc haemorrhage votes to both the democratic alliance under mmusi maimane, and also the economic freedom fighters. how are you going to rebuild people's confidence in the anc, because there are those who say, look, it has been in power since 1994, a spell in opposition could do it good? this moment that we have arrived at, with a new leadership, with new policies that we've come out of the conference with, gives us a great opportunity to address the doubts that many people had in the past. in the last election, yes, we did lose votes, because they thought that the anc had lost its way. and it has? the anc is back. the anc is back with a bang, and that is being registered in the hearts and the minds of our people. many people, right now, are saying, our anc is back, we've got a leadership
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that is going to take us forward, and many people, zeinab, are saying, "i did not vote in the last election, but right now, we have got a new leadership, i have my vote in my hand and i'm going to register it in favour of the anc." so there's a new mood in the country, and it's not euphoria, it is based on principle. people are saying the anc is back to the values and principles that it espoused in the past, values that were subscribed to by nelson mandela and oliver tambo and many others. as things stand, presidentjacob zuma is due to make the state of the nation address in early february. yes, ma'am. is he going to make that state of address or is it going to be president cyril ramaphosa? that is part of the transitional issues that we are dealing with. could you give me a straight answer? will it be president ramaphosa or president zuma who makes the state of the nation address? president ramaphosa is president of the african national congress and deputy president of the republic.
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as things stand. as things stand, that is what it is. the state of the nation address — will it be you or zuma? we have got to deal with the reality at hand right now. and the reality at hand is that president zuma is the president of the republic. we are dealing with matters that have to address the transition, and let's see what happens, as time goes on. deputy president cyril ramaphosa of south africa, thank you very much indeed for coming on hardtalk. thank you very much, zeinab, thank you. wonderful talking to you. hello there. good morning. winter is set to return this week, but nothing too serious, nothing out of the ordinary. what was unusual was the temperatures we had over the weekend — 15 degrees in that mild south—westerly on sunday. there's colder air to come down from the north, and it comes in initially behind this weather front here. that is moving southwards, it's been bringing the rain that we've had across the northern half of the uk, and that rain on monday is moving south across england and wales.
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behind it, we're starting to see some colder air already, by the morning, in scotland. maybe some wintriness over the tops of the high ground, as those showers come in. one or two showers coming in to the north of northern ireland, but much drier, by this stage, after some heavier rain overnight. here's the rain, though, across the north—west of england and wales, where it could be heavy over the hills. south of it, still some gusty winds for a while, but very mild air — temperature 9—10 degrees early in the morning. get a bit of sunshine in the south—east, and those temperatures could rise a few degrees higher in the morning. that's ahead of the rain. here's the rain. it's moving southwards and, as it moves southwards, so the rain becomes lighter and more patchy, but it will drop the temperatures across southern areas in the afternoon. we get some sunshine following behind that in wales and the midlands. and further north, some sunshine, a scattering of showers, and again, just cold enough to give us some wintriness over the higher ground in scotland. but it gets cold overnight where we have the clearer skies, across southern and eastern parts of england, in particular. could be a frost returning by early tuesday, but we start with some sunshine across most
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of england and wales. and gradually, through the day, the tendency is for things to cloud over more and more. a little bit of drizzly rain coming into the far south—west, but the wetter, windier weather is in the north—west of scotland. in between, it looks like it's going to be largely dry. but temperatures 6—9 degrees — that's nearer normal for this time of the year. now, it may start to feel colder around the middle part of the week. these weather systems do move through. this one the more significant one, coming down from the north—west, sweeping down across the uk, and then it introduces another bout of colder air that will sweep across all areas, and the wind direction changes once again. so we're going to find more in the way of showers on wednesday. we've still got this band of rain on the weatherfront to clear away from southern areas, and then it's sunshine and showers. but those showers will be more wintry, notjust in scotland but as far south as wales, perhaps into the peak district as well. nothing serious, but a change from what we've been seeing. and it will feel colder, as well, given some strong to gale—force winds — 11—5 degrees typically across the north.
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wind direction changes to a bit more of a northerly, so more inland areas will be more sheltered, so inland parts probably dry on thursday. the showers more likely around exposed coasts. but again, it will feel colder in the wind. this is the briefing. i'm sally bundock. our top story: security officials in afghanistan say a military base in the capital, kabul is under attack. paris remains on flood alert after days of non—stop rain. water levels in the river seine continue to rise. white roses on the red carpet, as some of music's biggest stars shine the spotlight on the #metoo movement. another brexit milestone — the eu decides on what it wants, and what it's willing to be flexible on, in negotiation with the uk. we'll be live to brussels to get an expert from europe as the uk prime minister attempts to mend a brexit rift within her own party.
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